GREENVILLE, N.C. – East Carolina hit .304 Friday night on the way to a 3-1 (21-25, 25-21, 25-22, 25-17) American Athletic Conference victory over South Florida inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.
Sydney Kleinman notched a career-high 25 kills to go along with 11 digs and a .489 hitting percentage, completing her fifth double-double of the campaign, while Sophia Kruczko also reached personal-best numbers in kills with nine of her own and hit .471 in the process. Bri Wood and Tia Shum tied for the match high in digs with 14. Marta Cvitkovic mustered up 10 kills to pace the visiting Bulls.
In addition to its high hitting percentage, ECU (9-13, 5-8 AAC) out-dug South Florida (6-18, 0-13 AAC) by a 58-56 count as well as piling up an advantage in total blocks (7.0-6.0).
The Pirates fell behind 11-6 in the opening set but rallied to tie the score at 14 following a Priscilla Jones kill. The Bulls, after calling a timeout, scored the next two points and did not relinquish the lead the rest of the frame.
South Florida was forced into an early timeout in the second stanza when Payton Evenstad put East Carolina in front 5-1 with an ace. The Bulls were unable to regain the upper hand, drawing within 12-10 before a 6-0 ECU run off the serve of Evenstad put the set away.
The Pirates started to pull away in the middle of the third frame, using an 8-2 run to turn a 10-8 lead into an eight-point edge. East Carolina also went up big in the fourth set, building a 15-4 cushion on the way to the lopsided eight-point margin of victory that clinched the match.